Can You Build a Better Utah? Addressing Utah’s Housing Crisis

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: April 28, 2021) — This week on the program, a panel of experts addresses the housing crisis in Utah and what can be done to improve affordability, access and equity for Utah’s growing population.

Information from the 2020 census shows Utah was the fastest-growing state over the last decade with a population increase of 18.4 percent. Utah now has nearly 3.28 million people, making it the 30th most populous state. However, this first-in-the-nation growth was actually smaller than the increase from 2000 to 2010, when Utah’s population grew by 23.8 percent.

Due to its rapidly growing population and lack of pre-existing infrastructure, Utah has been caught in a severe housing shortage and currently lacks about 40,000 affordable units. To address these long-standing issues in Utah and their impacts on local communities, Governor Spencer Cox signed several bills to promote more affordable housing projects and increased state investments in homelessness initiatives. In total, the 2021 Utah Legislature invested $50 million to address the housing crisis.

This week’s panel of experts will discuss how Utah’s growth affects its housing market, the impact of the pandemic and federal relief funds and how we can create more equitable outcomes for all Utahns. The panelists include Ivis Garcia Zambrana, assistant professor in the City and Metropolitan Planning Department at the University of Utah; Beth Martial, 211 Managing Director of United Way of Salt Lake; Michael Parker, Ivory Homes’ Vice President of Public Affairs, Marketing and Senior Economist; and Jim Wood, Ivory Boyer Senior Fellow at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Moderating today’s discussion is Dejan Eskic, senior research fellow at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

This forum was put on in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and the David Eccles School of Business’s Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative.

This forum was recorded on March 16th, 2021.

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